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Re: Chimp Fossils

On 9/2/05, Aidan Karley <aidan_karley@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <006901c5af42$ebf791e0$c33967d5@gericom>, David Marjanovic
> wrote:
>        The reportage I've seen is that the chimp teeth were found in
> semi-arid deposits to the East of the East African Rift, which in
> particular blew a small hole in one of the proposals as to why we have an
> appreciable fossil record for Homo, but very little for Pan and Gorilla :
> previously people had suggested that the ancestors of Pan and Gorilla were
> primarily inhabitants of a rainforest habitat, where wet, acidic soils
> made a preservation-hostile environment for their cold dead bones.

I don't think this hasn't changed. Even today, _Pan_ will brave the
open savannah on occasion. A few teeth doesn't mean they were all
living in semi-arid areas; in fact, since only a few teeth have been
found for all those millions of years, it suggests to me that very few
ventured out onto the savannah. The simplest explanation is that, half
a million years ago, as now, they were primarily rainforest dwellers
which ventured onto the open plains at times.

—Mike Keesey